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of the taliban. i think that was a major mistake. the second was to allow the coalition we successfully built for the war and the peace conference disintegrate. iran had been helpful, rebuffed offers of further help. pakistan had at least been not actively and helpful but we failed to keep them up to that standard in the succeeding years. the third error which i failed to perceive was a failure to pursue reconciliation much earlier than we finally did. there were certain proportion of the taliban leadership that were prepared to be coopted and that would have collaborated new arrangements and instead we send them to guantanamo and send very negative signals to those who might consider coopting and being coopted into the new system and it took us almost a decade to reverse that policy. nevertheless, despite these problems and despite the fact that now more than ten years on, we are still engaged in a counterinsurgency campaign. we have come a long way than many of us realize and i think some of this is reflected in a recent poll the asia society put out a couple weeks ago which showed in disti
responsibility in the aftermath of the fall of the taliban. i think that was a major mistake. the second was to allow the coalition we had successfully built for the war and for the peace conference to disintegrate. iran had been very helpful. week rebuffed offers of further help. pakistan had at least then not actively and helpful. but we failed to keep them up to that standard in the succeeding years. the third error which i failed to perceive was a failure to pursue reconciliation much earlier than we finally did. there were a certain proportion of the taliban leadership that were prepared to be cooperative, that would have collaborated. instead, we sent them to guantanamo, and sent a negative signal to those who might consider who being coopted into the new system. it took us almost a decade to reverse that policy. nevertheless, despite these problems, and despite the fact that now, more than 10 years on, we are still engaged in a counterinsurgency campaign in afghanistan, i think we have come a longer way than many of us realize. some of this is reflected in a recent poll the asia s
to shape where the taliban goes because, of course, its internal issue is that the afghan taliban began to actually seed and grow in insurgency inside pakistan that they had to deal with, and i think that's fundamental. the troops on the ground don't necessarily help us solve that problem. other issues, money and other elements of state, will help us influence pakistan. >> what do we know about conversations between the karzai regime and the taliban, the negotiations in france? >> well, president karzai during our interview said that they are currently still in negotiations and talking to the taliban, but there hasn't been any proof that they actually have been because the taliban themselves they send emails and talk to us on the phone as journalists and they tell us that in no way will they talk to what they call the puppet regime of america, referring to president karzai in his government, but the afghan officials that we speak to, they say that they are currently talking to the taliban, but they may be. we just don't know what level of the taliban that they're talking to. >> i know t
army. despite the billions spent and the thousands of lives lost, the taliban has not been defeated. some say at the america pulls out too quickly, it will be trade promises made and leave afghanistan vulnerable. >> it will be difficult to engage down the road if there is a large al qaeda return or the taliban takes over the country, to get the afghanistan's to trust us when we say we will be there to help you. >> america described it as the final chapter in afghanistan. president obama downsized out of the ambitions, winding down the war that is increasingly unpopular at home. this is not the final chapter. that is just that americans have grown wary about spending the money and spilling the blood. >>> for more on the future of the u.s. mission, i spoke a short time ago with the former u.s. ambassador to afghanistan. ambassador, thank you very much for coming in. president obama says that things are going so well he can actually speed up the transition. are the afghan security forces really ready to take over in the spring or is this more a matter of expediency for both countries?
their camps. taliban infiltration is often to blame. the tactic is to undermine the relationship between afghan forces and the coalition partners, making it more difficult for the afghan military to take over security here. president karzai arrived in washington today. mapping out afghanistan's future after foreign combat troops have left. their meeting will determine the primary mission, to fight the taliban or to get rid of al qaeda. president karzai wants soldiers. his forces lead emissions across the country. they are still not ready. for many years to come, these soldiers in afghanistan generally will rely on america's support. >> for more on those meetings taking place, i spoke with peter bergen. what is the main sticking point in these meetings between what the white house wants and what president karzai wants? >> it is the question of immunity for american forces. the u.s. does not want its soldiers being prosecuted by an afghan accords for obvious reasons. this is a big sticking point. >> karzai would like that? >> yes. that is very much what he would like. and then there is the
pursuing peace talks with the taliban. as part of that process, the karzai government has urged pakistan to release more taliban fighters. four were freed last week after more than two dozen were released in the past few months. whatever comes of the peace efforts, president karzai said again today, he plans to step down next year. >> certainly, i will be a retired president and very happily in retirement. >> woodruff: karzai has been dogged by charges of fraud since his re-election, part of larger concerns about corruption in his government. he acknowledged the concerns today, and said he hopes for a proper election to name his successor. >> brown: we pick up on today's meeting with two men with extensive experience in managing u.s.-afghan relations. said jawad was afghanistan's ambassador to washington from 2003 to 2010. before that, he was president karzai's chief of staff. and peter tomsen was a career diplomat who served as special envoy on afghanistan during the george h.w. bush administration. he's the author of "the wars of afghanistan." peter tomsen, let's start with you. what j
name malvi, a taliban commander. as far as i could tell, it was a perfectly legal and good thing to do, but the blowback on the ground is something that -- can be furious and last friday i was at the pentagon talking to the joint chiefs legal advisor who we talked about this at length. one of the things that they try to do as they analyze and propose strike, what's the blowback going to be. >> on the ground. >> on the ground. you can hit a guy in the house, but if all the neighbors -- if that causes them to go join the taliban, you know, you have taken a big step backwards. he was trying to persuade me that they pay attention to that when they're looking at a proposed strike, but the problem is how can do you that from washington? very, very difficult. the evidence so far is in yemen, for example, enormous blowback. you know, the analysis that i've seen is that we've caused more harm than good there. >> ben, i wonder, the other -- there is blowback regionally, but there has been such a lack of discussion here, and i remember the "new york times" kill list story that raised hackles in t
the taliban out of their holds. today, most major cities and most afghans are more secure than insurgents have continued to lose territory. meanwhile, afghan forces continue to grow stronger. as planned, some 352,000 afghan soldiers and police are now in training or on duty. most missions are already being led by afghan forces. and of all the men and women in uniform in afghanistan, the vast majority are afghans who are fighting and dying for their country every day. we still face significant challenges. but because this progress, our transition is on track. at the n.a.t.o. summit last year, we agreed with our coalition partners that after beg afghan forces in 2013. the president has been here and we've consulted with coalition partners and continue to do so. today we agreed that as afghan forces take the lead and as president karzai announces the final phase of the transition, coalitions forces will move to a support role this spring. our troops will continue to fight alongside afghan forces as needed, but starting this spring our troops will have a different mission, training, advising, assi
, it is not possible to reconcile without the taliban renouncing terrorism, without them recognizing the afghan constitution and recognizing that if there are changes that they want to make to how the afghan government operates, then there is an orderly constitutional process to do that and that you can't resort to violence. the afghan constitution protects the rights of afghan women. and the united states strongly believes that afghanistan cannot succeed unless it gives opportunity to its women. we believe that about every country in the world. and so, you know, we will continue to voice very strongly support for the afghan constitution, protection of minorities, its protection of women and we think that a failure to provide that protection, not only will make reconciliation impossible to achieve, but also, would make afghan -- afghanistan's long-term development impossible to achieve. you know? the single best indicator or one of the single best indicators of a country's prosperity around the world is how does it treat its women? does it educate that half of the population? does it give them
-- liberating afghanistan from an invasion and a rule by the taliban. the first one, in reverse order, the first one freeing afghanistan happened within a month and a half to two months. subbing squect of that afghanistan began its journey towards democracy, the rule of law, progress in all aspects of life. it went all right. it went reasonablely good under the circumstances. without a doubt with the help of the united states and our other allies around the world. the second part, freeing us all from terrorism and radicalism, didn't work as swiftly as we expected. there was bumps along the road and setbacks. now, the afghan people regardless where they stand recognize that afghanistan could not have made the progress that we have made in the past 10 years without the help we received from our allies. led by the united states of america. in more cruder terms the u.s. taxpayer's money. it contributed to afghanistan's upliftment. it contributed to the workplace, to society, to policy, the return of young girls to education. the return of universities, roads, communications, mobile phones, computers
about is that from our perspective, it is not possible to reconcile without the taliban renouncing terrorism, without them recognizing the afghan constitution, and recognizing that if there are changes that they want to make to how the afghan government operates, then there is an orderly constitutional process to do that, and you can't resort to violence. the afghan constitution protects the rights of afghan women. and the united states strongly believes that afghanistan cannot succeed unless it gives opportunity to its women. we believe that about every country in the world. and so, you know, we will continue to voice very strongly support for the afghan constitution, its protection of minorities, its protection of women, and we think that a failure to provide that protection, not only will make reconciliation impossible to achieve, but also would make afghan -- afghanistan's long-term development impossible to achieve. the single best indicator or one of the single best indicators of a country's prosperity around the world is how does it treat its women. does it educate that half
and taliban takeover. as for president karzai, he said he would like to see levels around 15,000 but today suggested numbers are less important than u.s. cooperation and supplying the them with tanks and drones. how much will it all cost? already the u.s. and allies pledged $16 billion in civilian aid and military ops on top of $642 billion the u.s. spent since 9/11 and 2,100 u.s. lives lost. let's start with kristen welker. what are you hearing came out of the meeting? >> reporter: a couple of headlines out of today's meeting. the withdrawal plans have been accelerated a bit. both announcing that u.s. troops handing over control to afghan forces this spring. that is a few months earlier than expected so that means that u.s. troops will shift their role in afghanistan. they will be taking on a role of advising, assisting and training afghan forces. president obama making it very clear, though, u.s. troops will still be in harm's way if they continue to be in the country. the big question mark remanes, how many troops are in afghanistan after 2014? today, president obama not answering that
night raids to kill and capture taliban leaders. you have to do that from multiple bases . these options will not be able to be fulfilled and meet those obligations . >> a recent pentagon report shows that one of afghan army 23 brigades was able to operate without military support from the u.s. or nato. you expect it to improve by 2014? >> i think the whole engagement is catastrophic and you look at the harvest of what we have done and look at sacrifices of the last 12 years now we had in afghanistan. we don't have much to show for it. we have a karzai as president . dysfunctional units that made habits . the afghan sold yirs were killing our own people and hundreds of billions later, the the fatalities and casuallies. it is it a good wor. but there is nothing good about the war. the chaos will claim afghanistan and the taliban will claim afghanistan and our work will have been for naught. >> that is it a sobering picture that you paint there. thank you for your insight. i appreciate it >> you, too. >> and rebel sitings are pressing ahead with fencive. there is a car boiming in damascus
afghanistan to launch attacks against our country. at the same time, we pushed the taliban out of their strongholds. today, most major cities and most afghans are more secure and insurgents continue to lose territory. afghan forces continue to grow stronger, meanwhile. as planned, some 352,000 afghan soldiers and police are now in training or on duty. most missions are already being led by afghan forces. of all the men and women in uniform in afghanistan, the vast majority are afghans who are fighting and dying for their country every day. we still face significant challenges, but because this progress our transition is on track. last year we agreed with partners that afghan forces will take the lead for security in mid 2013. president karzai and his team have been here for several days, we have consulted with our coalition partners, and we will continue to do so, and today we agreed that as afghan forces take the lead and as president karzai announces the final phase of the transition, coalition forces will move to a support role this spring. our troops will continue to fight
: there is another headline out of this too, jennifer, that's talks with the taliban. >> after 11 years of war, the afghan president announced today from the white house the taliban will be given a seat at the table. >> we agreed on allowing the taliban office in qatar. >> president obama issued a caveat. the taliban must renounce terrorism. the president diverted attention from those asking whether 11 years of war were worth it by announcing today army staff sergeant clinton romesha who helped repel one of the most vicious attacks in eastern afghanistan in 2009 would receive the medal of honor, shepard. >> shepard: first you kill the taliban and then you have him in for talks. fascinating. 2013. jen griffin at the pentagon. thanks. john boehner formally invited the president to deliver his first state of the union of his second term the date february 12th. he has to be invited, you know. the president hats accepted the date which also happens to be abraham lincoln's birthday it will touch on immigration reform spending and gun control. in a letter to the president speaker boehner wrote our na
troops would weaken the negotiating position about those negotiations with the taliban ever got started again. now, the taliban, that's been one of their demands. all u.s. troops leave afghanistan after 2014. and there are some who feel the white house 234r0floated this io sort of, you know, lay the ground work to get some perhaps concessions on some other issues that are important to the white house. in other words, more of a negotiati negotiati negotiating ploy. >> it's been a tense relationship on many occasions. be interesting to know how this meeting goes in that regard. also he's the guy they have to deal with. he's the only player they really can deal with. but the reality is he still doesn't run much of afghanistan in the real world environment. and the lingering allegations of corruption, nepotism, hangs over his head. >> his brother and father were assassinated, so in some ways he's also trying to stay alive in that country. and facing that possibility, as well. it's been a contentious relationship with karzai over the years. he's had better relationships with some of the gene
billion for them to be due to by the taliban. we will see a dramatic increase -- a decrease of american dollars and soldiers being sent to afghanistan over the next several years. $4,000,000,000.5000000000 dollars for them to continue to host: but you said earlier that aid will continue for at least 10 years. guest: i hope and expect that it will continue for the next 10 years. we should probably talk about where that is a good idea. afghanistan and pakistan, that nexus, the tribal border region there that is poorly defined and poured a controlled is perhaps the most dangerous place in the world to the united states. it is where al qaeda and began. it is where the remnants of al qaeda still exists. there was a draw on strike reported within the last 24 hours against terrorists in that region. babalu remain a threat in that area for the force -- that is an area that will remain a threat for the foreseeable future. we can conduct drones strikes, gather intelligence, continue to keep an eye on that area, stabilize it and influence the direction it goes, because that is the part of the worl
the taliban renouncing terrorism, without them recognizing the afghan constitution, and recognizing that if there are changes they want to make to how the afghan government operates, then there is an orderly constitutional process to do that, and that you cannot resort to violence. the afghan constitution protects the rights of afghan women. and the united states strongly believes that afghanistan cannot succeed unless it gives opportunity to its women. we believe that a about 3 -- we believe that about every country in the world. we will continue to voice very strongly support for the afghan constitution as protection for minorities, its protection of women, and we think that a failure to provide that protection not only will make reconciliation impossible to achieve, but also would make afghanistan's long term development impossible to achieve. the single best indicator or one of the single best indicators of a country's prosperity around the world is how does it treats its women. does it educate that half of the population? does it give an opportunity? when it does, you will poli
priorities backwards. if taliban takes control again in afghanistan, we won't have to worry about protecting drone bases or diplomats because we won't be there at all. and i think this is part of the unreality of the obama administration's approach there. the low troop numbers that they're contemplating, that they will be discussing with president karzai will not be any where near sufficient to accomplish our strategic objective, america's strategic objective which is defeating the taliban. and i think we're --. bill: it is fascinating. i apologize for the interruption how the events in benghazi are now shaping our foreign policy whether this administration wants to admit it or not. >> well that perhaps is the small glimmer of good news that they recognize that benghazi was a real debacle for our security policies for embassies overseas but the larger question here in afghanistan is the administration's unwillingness to do what we need to do to prevent 10 years of sacrifice and loss of life by our forces from simply being wasted if the taliban come back into power. bill: well this administra
with a helicopter pilots while this is going on and watch the gunbattle that went on between the taliban and enforcement on the ground. i got the story and essentially i was -- i agreed with the public affairs people in kandahar that it was time for me to get out of kandahar and go back to kabul and eventually the united states. so it was a very intense experience for me and very strange. week got rocketed in kandahar and i'm trying to write a blogpost about general detritus and rockets, knocked the power out. i got on the first military flight and usually it's really hard to get on a military flight. this was pretty easy. they put me on a flight ready quickly and all the soldiers had copies printed out of the story. i had never seen anything like it. c-span: how did they treat you? >> guest: they treated me well. almost everyone, there were a few exceptions but most people in the military have always treated me with respect. c-span: what would you tell somebody that wanted to do the same thing you have done? i mean, what should they expect? talk some more about the reporters in the esta
is that, from our perspective, it is not possible to reconcile without the taliban renouncing terrorism, without without them recognizing the afghan constitution. and recognizing that if there are changes that they want to make, to how the afghan government operates, then there is an orderly constitutional process to do that. you can't resort to violence? the afghan constitution protect. the rights of the afghan women. and the united states strongly believes that afghanistan cannot succeed unless it gives opportunities to its women. we believe that about every country in the world. and so you know, we will continue to voice very strongly, support for the afghan constitution, protection of minorities, protection of women. we think that a failure to provide that protection, not only will make reconciliation impossible to achieve, but also, would make afghanistan's long-term development impossible to achieve. the single best indicator or one of the best indicators of a country's prosperity around the world is how does it treat its women. does educate that half of the population? does it gi
to by the taliban. we will see a dramatic decrease of american dollars and soldiers being sent to afghanistan over the next several years. host: but you said earlier that aid will continue for at least 10 years. guest: i hope and expect that it will continue for the next 10 years. we should probably talk about where that is a good idea. the fact is, afghanistan and pakistan, that nexus, the tribal border region there that is poorly defined and poured a controlled is perhaps the most dangerous place in the world to the united states. it is where al qaeda and began. it is where the remnants of al qaeda still exists. there was a drone strike reported within the last 24 hours against terrorists in that region. that is an area that will remain a threat for the foreseeable future. we can conduct drones strikes, gather intelligence, continue to keep an eye on that area, stabilize it and influence the direction it goes, because that is the part of the world that puts the united states most at risk. host: a sovereignty issue for pakistan, but also, karzai is expected to bring up sovereignty issues for afgh
immaturity of afghan forces alongside the continuing presence of the taliban, isn't it in our interest to walk slowly out of this conflict rather than too quickly? >> well, it may be in our national security interest to do that, martin, but there's been a great deal of anticipation that this conflict was coming to an end. we saw during the presidential campaign that they d republicans tried to make a big deal of squabbling over the details but they, too, were seeing a fairly rapid end to this, and this expedites it somewhat more quickly. so i think there's going to be a lot of crossing of fingers and hoping things don't turn into an even worse disaster there. but this had already been baked in the cake. there's no political will to stay any further. >> okay. mike, i followed much of what you have written on the subject of afghanistan, and it seems as though you feel a little more optimistic about the country. but given the endemic corruption, the harboring of pakistani terrorists along the border, the confused way that nato has pumped money into afghanistan, do we leave a nation that r
. and the taliban issued a statement saying if u.s. troops are left here they vow and promise more war and destruction. >> thanks to you. be safe, as well. the numbers being floated in terms of how many troops the u.s. might leave in afghanistan have ranged as high as 20,000. they are as low as 3,000. let's get to the war room. former chief of staff for west virginia. a republican strategist and former aid to president george h.w. bush. what do you think that we will hear from this meeting between president obama and president karzai. >> president obama i'm sure will listen to the laundry list of complaints that president karzai has. i think both are concerned about the local audience, that is to say the domestic audience. president karzai is concerned about the audience at home and president obama has to consider the bigger picture. >> chris, with the political reality is that the public wants out of afghanistan. and the political reality in afghanistan is that they want u.s. troops to leave, why, then, keep any troops in afghanistan? >> that is a really good question. i think you are
as a whole, and how they will sustain the fight against the taliban after most american troops are gone. when i say "most american troops," i'm leaving open the doors the president has for leaving behind a training advisory and counter terrorism mission of some thousands of troops. the president wants to do this as he did in iraq, the hang up as also in iraq is whether the afghani government grants a status of forces agreement that will give us legal immunity for our troops. that's the american military presence around the world. we have it now in afghanistan based upon u.n. and other considerations, but that expires in 2014. that's the key issue that they are looking at right now. what president karzaiments beyond some troops is military support in terms of funding equipment and also economic assistance. cheryl: not a lot of willingness on either side to come to an agreement, we hope there's a sense today on what u.s. troops are doing in afghanistan after 20 # 14, but there are some of the democratic party that say we need to pull all troops out of afghanistan by 2014 with the resurgence of
negotiating power with the taliban. >> the position we take in showing that we are going to continue to complete this mission, the better the chances we have to ultimately achieve political reconciliation. >> the pentagon was only the beginning of the afghan president's visit to washington. >> our meeting, i believe, helped -- will help lay the ground work for president karzai's discussions tomorrow with president obama. >> sources say president karzai and his defense minister brought a wish list to the pentagon, drones, helicopters, and hardware to support their security forces. >> what we talked about yesterday was, you know, let's move beyond a wish list of equipment. >> the u.s. want assurances the terrorists won't set up troops in afghanistan after the troops leave. karzai agreed. >> be able to provide security to these people. >> but a recent pentagon reports that the afghan border patrol relies on the u.s. for even its most basic needs, food and water. it's rife with illiteracy, lack of accountability, and corruption. and these conditions are expected to endure beyond 2014. bu
of the taliban until the u.s. -led invasion of 2001. >> we are committed to doing everything we can to assist you in this time of transition to new afghanistan and afghanistan where people will be able to live in peace. >> it's now a democratic country with an elected government, with human rights for all. >> hamid karzai made his first visit to washington 11 years ago this month. >> how do you expect american forces to stay in afghanistan? >> as long as we are still have terrorist items. and as long as the bad guys are there. americans go out, unless we finish the job. >> how many american troops will remain after the u.s. combat mission ends next year is now being decided. karzai may not like the answer. >> president karzai relationship with president bush was very congenial. but it all changed when president obama came to office. president karzai got increasingly distant largely by the assessment by some there, the insiders in washington that president karzai was part of the problem. >> two nationwide elections have been held in afghanistan since 2001, but corruption persists and despite pledg
, continuing to provide advisorses. in other words, give them the tools to fight the taliban. i think that in fact they're going to be motivated, partly because the taliban are going to behave so badly like they did before that we will find afghans win to fight them. it might not necessarily be president karzai, but there will be afghan actors who will fight the taliban. >>brian: you say one of the things the soviets did wrong, the soviet union collapsed, gorbachev takes over, and the reason why what the afghans left collapsed is because the soviets cut them off. >> gorbachev continued to arm them. it was yeltsin. as soon as yeltsin took over at our behest, he took overt marxist regime and within months it fell. >>brian: you look at egypt and iraq, you've been to iraq when saddam was in power in afghanistan, and you say wait, when we pull out, they'll realize we are best friend they could possibly have. >> i think what they're going to find is their problems aren't over. in other words, they've got an awful lot of enemies in that part of the world. everyone hates each other more than
at the "morning papers." "the washington post." the cia has started off 2013 by using drones to bomb taliban targets in pakistan on 7 of the last 10 days. analysts say the uptick in air attacks is a move to weaken the taliban's hold on the region ahead of coalition troop withdrawals in 2014. >>> and "the washington post," the pentagon is preparing for a worst-case scenario in which lawmakers failed to make its march 1st deadline on the budget deal. that would mean deep, across-the-board cuts including $500 million less for the defense department. leon panetta says it would be a huge setback for national security. >>> "the wall street journal," american express is set to cut 5,400 jobs. the company will slash 8.5% of its staff, mostly from its travel division which has lost business in the advent of internet travel sites. >>> this weekend's "parade" magazine, it's the savings issue. inside, a guide to saving $10,000 this year. >> did you hear that? you can save money. >> that's a good investment because that "parade" doesn't cost that much. so you can save. that's kind of a no-brainer. >> the
troop withdrawal will place afghanistan back into the chaos of the 1990s that enabled the taliban to seize power and provide a haven for al-qaeda. >> we are in afghanistan to protect american interests. we are not there to make afghanistan a nicer place. we are there to prevent terrorist attacks against the united states. >> reporter: when reporter asked president car sty how many u.s. troops he wanted to remain in the country, he answered playfully. >> i was told by the organizer of the senate to keep quiet. >> reporter: the u.s. has about 66,000 troops in afghanistan down from a peak about 100,000. in new york, lauren green, fox news. >>> vice president joe biden will meet with the nra today in a step towards reforming the nation's gun control laws. meanwhile, president obama is asking congress for several provisions to the law including banning military-style assault rifles. biden says the administration and congress are considering separate executive actions and hope to have recommendations on gun reform by the end of this month. everybody watching that very closely. >>> we ar
militant group with ties to the pakistani taliban claiming responsibility for the bombings. today we'll learn much more about recent safety problems involving boeing's newest 787 dreamliner. transportation secretary ray lahood and the faa will announce a safety review of the plane. just this week, an electrical fire broke out on one of the planes owned by japan airlines as it arrived in boston. then a fuel leak grounded another plane operated by j.a.l. the same planes fly in and out of dulles every day. >>> fairfax teachers may soon get a raise. school superintendent jack dale unveiled the budget. the plan includes a modest 1% raise for teachers. $63 million would go toward hiring nearly 300 teachers and administrators to deal with an expected jump in enrollment. the school system is expected 2900 new students. dale is asking the county for a 5.5% increase in funding for the coming year. he doesn't expect to receive all money requested based on the economy. >>> 6:35 now. your metro ride will be a little slower on three lines this weekend. the station along the blue line will be close
. this is some of the problems we have seen. it did not want to narrowly cover just the al qaeda and taliban but could be expanded for whoever the president decides is the enemy. it's troubling. we would be put in a position that we can argue we've reached the end. the last 11 years have shown there's a lot of institutional push for this war to be over with. >> the gentleman over here. >> i'm from the german embassy. my name is joseph. i have a question that may be hypothetical. what would happen if president obama would decide tomorrow to close down guantanamo. he as commander-in-chief, if he would do this, what would happen? could congress or anyone block it? if you make this decision tomorrow, what would happen? >> well, there are practical problems now with where the people can go. so it takes work to get it so you can empty the people out of guantanamo. you really need to open it up so people can come to the united states, certain ones of them, and make it easier for them to go to a third country. -it is a. light- and i go back to lincoln. lincoln could not just say i'm not going to all
's attention because many fear if there are no u.s. troops the country will revert to the taliban you have provided options not to the president yet but to the national security staff. as you know i don't speak about options until i have had a chance to speak to the president. >> at the state department president karzai is dining tonight with secretary clinton and leon panetta. he brought a long list of military equipment that karzai needs from kabul but which what is is increasingly clear whatever u.s. presence there will be in afghanistan after 2014 will be quite small, shepard. >> jenks then there is israel. the israeli defense minister in town in washington and talking about concerns of serious chemical weapons amid that civil war. >> it's interesting, the last time that ehud barak the defense minister was in town in washington at the end the of last year. we started hearing reports that there was new intelligence suggesting that sara ran gas had been mixed and maybe even loaded into weapons inside syria. just two days ago we heard the "new york times" report that that intelligence cam
that are the taliban and al qaeda. we have an unreliable ally in president karzai, he is erratic and this will cause him to be even more erratic and our own ally will be looking at us and saying, no, where is the united states going. no, judy, i think this was a highly injudicious statement. >> celeste ward gventer, an injudicious statement and bad idea? >> well i have the greatest respect for bing west and i'm honored to be on the show with him but i respectfully disagree. for us to be talking about troop levels right now putting the cart before the horse in any case. because frankly we should be talking about our vision for the region strategically. in any event we still need consider that having no troops there is a real option, and i think to ignore that option would be strategically foolish. we heard about the supposed apandora's box lips that was coming if u.s. troops left iraq. u.s. troops left iraq and the apocalypse has not arrive. that is an option for us and it would be irresponsible for us not to consider it. >> bing west, what is the argument for keeping a significant contingent of troo
of the soldiers and taliban, they are ready for a withdrawal because they feel if the withdrawal happens, there will be less fighting. but many analysts say the fighting will continue. >> on a side note, real interesting, before we let you go, we don't get much face time with atia, we were talking about movies coming to afghanistan, zero dark thirty, whether it was seen there yet. girls going back to school. here in america we think all children need to be educated. women can't go to the movie theater in afghanistan. >> no, they can't. if they try to it would be a dangerous prospect. the men that go to the movie theaters, we have to remember afghanistan doesn't have a class that have jobs, many boys are going there and causing troubles. girls cannot go and bear by go out by themselves without being harassed. massive sexual harass. me ment on the streets. there are children providing for their families and treated pretty badly. >> we need to continue talking about this. thanks for being here. great to see you. as we mentioned president obama and president karzai will hold a joint news con
for afghan women as the taliban returns. i find that a very scary report. >> the other people scared are the pakistanis. >> right. >> looking at what's happening says kroog the border, if we are completely pulling out. what does it say about the surge and the american lives that were lost with that escalation? >> if you look at the pentagon's own most recent report on what's been the last six months in afghanistan, you will -- of the most recent -- the most repeat report from the pentagon on previous six months in afghanist afghanistan, you will see that the levels of violence that have returned to -- are now greater than presurge levels. this obviously brings us to the conclusion that the surge has made no difference. now, the military will disagree with that, and i would say the surge has made a difference in parts of afghanistan, in southern afghanistan, and helmand province especially where 20,000 marines were there. they're leaving soon. it did make a difference to some degree in kandahar, so i think the zero option is partly strategic. it was partly to negotiate with karzai to
our country. at the same time, we pushed the taliban out of their strongholds. today, most major cities and afghans are more security and insurgents have continued to lose territory. meanwhile, afghan forces continue to grow stronger. as planned, some 352,000 afghan soldiers and police are now in training or are on duty. most missions are already being led by afghan forces. and of all the men and women in uniform in afghanistan, the vast majority are afghans who are fighting and dying for their country everyday. we still face significant challenges, but because of this progress, our transition is on track. at the nato summit last year wing a e greed with the coalition forces that afghan forces will take the lead for security in mid-2013. president karzai and the team have been here for several days, and we have shared a vision of how to move ahead and consulted with our coalition partners, and we will continue to do so, and today, with we agreed as afghan forces take the lead, and as president karzai announces the final phase of the transition, coalition forces will move to a sup
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